Money Talks: Credit Cards

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Published on 4 Aug 2020, 22:26
Hosts Kevin Farrell and Dr Nancy Lottridge Anderson and Ryder Taff discuss, current events, credit cards and take your questions.

American credit card debt now exceeds $1 trillion. The average US household has $8,398 in credit card debt. 60% of Americans carry their credit card balance month to month. 

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According to the website nerd wallet dot com credit score ranges are: 300-329 Bad, 630 – 689 Fair, 690-719 Good, and 720-850 means the likelihood of you repaying new debt is excellent. 

A credit card allows you to borrow money from a bank to make purchases. As long as you pay back the money you borrow within the “grace period” of 25-30 days, you don’t have to pay extra. If you don’t pay it back in that time period, you’ll have to pay interest — a percentage of the money you owe the bank — on top of what you borrowed. 

Until the passage of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974, women could not get a credit card without a husband as a co-signer. That meant single women and married women who wished to establish credit separate from their spouses were denied credit cards. The 1974 law made it illegal for creditors to discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or marital status.

According to Shift Credit Card Processing: 14% of Americans have at least 10 credit cards

Pros:You can make a large purchase now and pay it off in smaller amounts over time. Carrying credit cards is more convenient (and safer) than carrying a wad of cash, and credit cards are more widely accepted than personal checks.     With responsible use, you can build your credit, which will be important later on.Many credit cards give you rewards, essentially giving you back 1% or more of the money you spend. Or sign-up bonuses.

Cons:You can easily dig yourself into debt if you’re not careful about your spending.The ease of using credit cards can cause you to overspend.Missing payments or maxing out a card can sink your credit score quickly.Interest can make even a small debt become large over time.

Types of cards:REWARDS – cash back, travel points, specific airline or hotel cards, store cards.Best for cardholders who pay their bill in full every monthLOW INTEREST - lower interest rate, might come with a 0% introductory APR period. Good credit needed to qualifyBALANCE TRANSFER - move your debt from another issuer to take advantage of a lower interest rate. Requires good or excellent credit.SECURED credit card require a security deposit. For those with average or bad creditSTUDENT CARDS - The Credit Card Act of 2009 prohibits issuers from giving cards to people under 21 unless they have proof of income or a co-signer. Helps people establish credit

Remember:Fees: late payment, annual fees, Balance transfer fee, Cash advance fee, Foreign transaction feeInterest payments when you don’t pay off your debt in full: APR for purchases, APR for balance transfers, APR for cash advances, Penalty APR

Tips:Pay your bill on time and in full every monthKeep your balance below 30% of your available creditWait at least six months between credit card applicationsReview your account online weekly to track spending and avoid fraudKeep no-annual-fee credit cards open and active to avoid hurting your credit score

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